In Past Giant Company Like Apple, Samsung etc Are Often Accused Of Using Child Labor. In Re4cent A Shocking Report Published By Amnesty International Says That the scobalt, used in lithium-ion batteries,are mined from the mines where children as young as seven and adults work in perilous conditions.

Major electronics brands, including Apple, Samsung and Sony, are failing to do basic checks to ensure that cobalt mined by child labourers has not been used in their products, said Amnesty International and Afrewatch in a report published on Tuesday.

This report accuses tech companies like Apple, Microsoft, LG, Samsung, Sony, Lenovo, and automobile makers VW, Mercedes and others of using cobalt from the suppliers that employ child labor, some as young as 7-years.

amnesty international cobalt battery congo africa child labor apple samsung

Image | Amnesty International

This report from the organization focuses on Democratic Republic of Congo — the source of 50 percent cobalt which is used heavily in li-ion batteries. Mineral from the mines of this African countries are bought by larger mineral firms that process the ore.

As the next step, these companies sell cobalt to the companies in South Korea and China where it’s used in battery production. This human-rights organization, working with Africa Resources Watch claims the tech giants ultimately use these batteries in their smartphones.

The glamorous shop displays and marketing of state of the art technologies are a stark contrast to the children carrying bags of rocks, and miners in narrow manmade tunnels risking permanent lung damage.Mark Dummett, Business & Human Rights Researcher at Amnesty International
Notably, it’s not the first time. In the past, Samsung and Apple have faced flak over the use and exploitation of underage workers in their Asian facilities.

The Amnesty Internation report claims that as many as 40,000 children work in the cobalt mines of the African country.

The organization interviewed children who told that they work for up to 12 hours a day and earn $1 in the process. On the other hand, these companies rake about total $125 billion global profits.

These big companies sell their phones and cars to millions but rarely care about their social responsibilities. There Is Need to put pressure on your cell phone manufacturer and ask them to clarify this situation.

Apart from this issue of child labor, mining in Africa has provoked multiple conflicts. Also known as ‘blood minerals’, these resources have given rise to a US law in 2014 that obliged firms listed in the States to inform its regulators if they use such raw materials obtained from African countries. In the past, other reports similar to Amnesty Internation have indicated that the tech companies are neglecting this law.

Amnesty International contacted 16 multinationals who were listed as customers of the battery manufacturers listed as sourcing processed ore from Huayou Cobalt. One company admitted the connection, while four were unable to say for certain whether they were buying cobalt from the DRC or Huayou Cobalt. Six said they were investigating the claims.

Five denied sourcing cobalt from via Huayou Cobalt, though they are listed as customers in the company documents of battery manufacturers. Two multinationals denied sourcing cobalt from DRC.
Crucially, none provided enough details to independently verify where the cobalt in their products came from.
It is a major paradox of the digital era that some of the world’s richest, most innovative companies are able to market incredibly sophisticated devices without being required to show where they source raw materials for their components.
Emmanuel Umpula, Afrewatch Executive Director

“The abuses in mines remain out of sight and out of mind because in today’s global marketplace consumers have no idea about the conditions at the mine, factory, and assembly line. We found that traders are buying cobalt without asking questions about how and where it was mined.”

Fatal mines and child labour

The DRC produces at least 50% of the world’s cobalt. One of the largest mineral processors in the country is Huayou Cobalt subsidiary CDM. Huayou Cobalt gets more than 40% of its cobalt from DRC.

Miners working in areas from which CDM buys cobalt face the risk of long-term health damage and a high risk of fatal accidents. At least 80 artisanal miners died underground in southern DRC between September 2014 and December 2015 alone. The true figure is unknown as many accidents go unrecorded and bodies are left buried in the rubble.

Amnesty International researchers also found that the vast majority of miners spend long hours every day working with cobalt without the most basic of protective equipment, such as gloves, work clothes or facemasks to protect them from lung or skin disease.

Children told Amnesty International they worked for up to 12 hours a day in the mines, carrying heavy loads to earn between one and two dollars a day. In 2014 approximately 40,000 children worked in mines across southern DRC, many of them mining cobalt, according to UNICEF.
I would spend 24 hours down in the tunnels. I arrived in the morning and would leave the following morning.
Paul, 14-year-old orphan and cobalt miner
Paul, a 14-year-old orphan, started mining at the age of 12. He told researchers that prolonged time underground made him constantly ill:

“I would spend 24 hours down in the tunnels. I arrived in the morning and would leave the following morning ... I had to relieve myself down in the tunnels … My foster mother planned to send me to school, but my foster father was against it, he exploited me by making me work in the mine.”

“The dangers to health and safety make mining one of the worst forms of child labour. Companies whose global profits total $125 billion cannot credibly claim that they are unable to check where key minerals in their productions come from,” said Mark Dummett.

“Mining the basic materials that power an electric car or a smartphone should be a source of prosperity for miners in DRC. The reality is that it is a back-breaking life of misery for almost no money. Big brands have the power to change this.”

The report shows that companies along the cobalt supply chain are failing to address human rights risks arising in their supply chain.

Today there is no regulation of the global cobalt market. Cobalt does not fall under existing “conflict minerals” rules in the USA, which cover gold, coltan/tantalum, tin and tungsten mined in DRC.
“Many of these multinationals say they have a zero tolerance policy for child labour. But this promise is not worth the paper it is written when the companies are not investigating their suppliers. Their claim is simply not credible,” said Mark Dummett.
“Without laws that require companies to check and publicly disclose information about where they source minerals and their suppliers, companies can continue to benefit from human rights abuses. Governments must put an end to this lack of transparency, which allows companies to profit from misery.”

Amnesty International and Afrewatch are calling on multinational companies who use lithium-ion batteries in their products to conduct human rights due diligence, investigate whether the cobalt is extracted under hazardous conditions or with child labour, and be more transparent about their suppliers.

The organizations are also calling on China to require Chinese extractive companies operating overseas to investigate their supply chains and address human rights abuses in their operations.

The organizations say Huayou Cobalt should confirm who is involved in mining and trading its cobalt (and where) and make sure it is not buying cobalt mined by child labour or in dangerous conditions.
“Companies must not simply discontinue a trading relationship with a supplier or embargo DRC cobalt once human rights risks have been identified in the supply chain. They must take remedial action on the harm suffered by people whose human rights were abused,” said Mark Dummett.

source:Amnesty International and

Post A Comment:


We Will Love to Hear From You! Pls Comment Your Views...........